Amélie – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Amélie – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

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Based on the five-time Oscar nominated film by french visionary Jean-Pierre JeunetAmélie tells the story of an extraordinary young woman who decides to intervenes in the lives of others to spread happiness and joy whilst in-turn struggling to find her own happiness.  Arriving at Eastbourne as part of a smash hit UK tour expectations were suitably high. Well I’m happy to say that Amiele is a real joy – a funny, charming and whimsical musical that revels in its quirkiness.   In fact it’s fair to say that You don’t so much watch Amelie as fall in love with it.

Jumping from one memorable tune to another, you quickly find yourself tapping your feel and exciting awaiting the next song. Also worth noting is Amelie’s unique staging, which very much sees the Orchestra as an integral part of both the show and cast. In all it just reinforces the dream like feel this musical has, as does the suitably bold, funny and smart direction.

The real win here however is Canadian lead Audrey Brisson who so perfect encapsulates the titular characters playfulness, leaping around the stage with seemingly boundless energy and excitement, that you almost could believe she was born to play this part.   As much as you quickly fall in love with Amelie as a musical, you certainly fall in love with Amelie the character first and foremost. Former Strictly star Danny Mac is also super charming as Amelie potential suitor and together the chemistry is nothing short of sparkling.  

So a combination of expert staging, captivating performances and catchy tunes make Amelie one of the most fun night outs I’ve had in ages, a show worthy of its considerable plaudits and expectations.  Highly recommended.

Starring: Audrey Brisson, Danny Mac, Sophie Crawford, Faoileann Cunningham, Rachel Dawson, Oliver Grant. Directed by Michael Fentiman

Amélie is currently performing at The Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne from Monday 09th September to Saturday 14th September 2019

 

 

 

 


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Deathtrap – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Deathtrap – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

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Written by award-winning playwright and author Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and Critics Choice) Deathtrap is described best as both a send up and salute to the mid- 20th century stage thriller.  It holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway, and has previously been nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play and now arrives in Eastbourne for a short run at the excellent Devonshire Park Theatre.

In short: Accomplished and celebrated playwright Sidney Bruhl is suffering from a bout of writer’s block and fading success.  But when he’s handed a once in a lifetime script for a gripping thriller from a student, Sidney sees a way out.  Could this be the play he needs to get back on top once again?

A play in two acts, Deathtrap is expertly performed, witty and sharply staged. It’s unexpected twists and turns both embraces and plays with tropes of the genre it resides in yet it’s never far from the demanded jump, surprise or scare.  Satire is often best when delivered so close to the truth and that is certainly true here. You can see why the play lapped up awards on its original runs.

Best of all the dialogue is sharply written and the cast are obviously relishing the opportunity to deliver such well written prose.  Special notes go out to Ross Waiton​ and Natasha Gray who manage to stand out from a uniformly excellent cast.

Deathtrap is not that play you expect.  It’s not even the play IT expects at times. No… Deathtrap is a razor sharp, playful put together mystery that surprises, delights and entertains in equal measure.  Highly recommended


Starring:
Ross Waiton​, Katy Dean, Natasha Gray, John Hester & Ewan Goddard. Directed by Phil Stewart

 

Deathtrap is currently performing at The Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne from Wednesday 10 July 2019 to Saturday 20 July 2019.

 

 

 

 


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Rocky Horror Show  – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Rocky Horror Show – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

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Just to get this out of the way before we start… Rocky Horror Show is probably my favourite stage show of all time.  From its beginnings as a stage show to its cult film adaptation and back to a campy polished stage show, Rocky Horror in its various forms has entertained us for over forty years.  

 

So you’d think it would get a bit tired by now right?  Or it would loose some of that sparkle the eleventh time in… Wrong.  This 2018/19 touring production is as fresh, fun and over the top as ever.

 

The real revelation here is Stephen Webb.  A staple of numerous theatre & TV shows, Webb relishes the opportunity to turn it up to 11 as Frank-N-Furter unleashing his inner camp with relish and aplomb.  Now well into his tour of duty, Webb is nailing his Frank which is no mean feat if you consider some of the epic Franks that came before him ( David Bedella to name but one).

 

That said nowadays no touring version of Rocky Horror is complete without Kristian Lavercombe, who has logged over 1000 performances as Riff Raff across the globe yet delivers every line, song and snark like it was new.  He’s the heart and soul of this production and obviously still enjoys every moment.,

 

As for the rest of the cast… well for one it’s great to see Punt back as the Narrator, whose super comfortable in the role and knows exactly where to pause for the appropriate call backs and interactions (which came thick and fast). As always Rocky Horror is best enjoyed with a knowledgeable (and well turned out) crowd…



The songs, production and choreography are first class and you can’t help but be swept along in the breakneck pace on show here!

 

So strap on your heels, pull up your stockings and fasten that wig because Rocky Horror is by far the best time you will have this year!

 

Starring: Stephen Webb, Steve Punt, Joanne Clifton, Ben Adams, Kristian Lavercombe

 

The Rocky Horror Show is currently performing at The Congress Theatre in Eastbourne from Monday 27 May 2019 to Saturday 01 June 2019.

 

 

 

 


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Rock Of Ages  – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Rock Of Ages – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

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Set in Los Angeles  back in the debauched Sunset strip of the late 1980’s, Rock of Ages is a jukebox musical arriving in Eastbourne’s newly refurbished Congress Theatre on the back of hugely successful runs on Broadway, London’s West End, Vegas and, of course, THAT Tom Cruise movie.

 

And what a show it is. From the start is a barrage of memorable rock songs, leather jackets, high energy and higher waisted leotards and risqué humour. A love story for the ages, it’s a show that grabs you from the start with it’s infectious enthusiasm and doesn’t let go.

 

But as good as the staging and performance are it’s the music most people will come to hear. Thankfully then Rock Of Ages delivers here in spades. Yup 25 classic rock anthems & ear worms from the 80’s are present from Don’t Stop Believin’ & We Built This City to the The Final Countdown and many more. Expect these tunes to be firmly stuck in you head for hours (and days) after…

 

This touring version is also gifted with a great cast. Former boyband star Antony Costa delivers a solid turn as sleazy rock god Staceee Jaxx, Jodie Steele is excellant as Sherie and former Eastender Kevin Kennedy is almost unrecognisable as Bar owner Dupree.  But for me it was Lucas Rush who steals the show as the narrator Lonny. Charming, funny and cheeky he was just brilliant, clearly loving every moment of it!

 

Just a word of warning – with ample of sex , drugs and swearing this may be one for younger kids to give a miss.

 

Rock Of Ages is a riotously good, rocking night out… I absolutely loved it!

 

Rock Of Ages is currently performing at The Congress Theatre from Monday 8th until Saturday 13th April.

 

Tickets Available HERE

 


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A Song At Twilight

A Song At Twilight

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Often the art of the fine drama is overlooked at the modern theatre, oft filled with the latest musical or grandiose Lloyd Webber production. A Song At Twilight then is a welcome change of pace. The action takes place across one evening in a Swiss hotel in 1966 with a small, but perfectly formed cast (led by Four Weddings star Callow and renowned English actress Jane Asher).  One of his last works, it’s a play in two acts written by Noël Coward as part of a trilogy of related stories, A Song At Twilight  invites a you to spend an evening with grouchy retired writer Sir Hugo Latymer as he is visited by an old flame and some equally old hidden truths.

 

On the whole it’s a highly enjoyable affair, with Callow offering a solid turn as the noted former writer, relishing speaking Cowards famed knotted words and obviously enjoying indulging in some sparky world play with his fellow actors. Asher is also rather good but it’s Jessica Turner as Latymer’s German wife Hilde who steals the show in a layered performance as upstandingly comic as it it’s ultimately tragic.

 

A Song At Twilight may not surprise too much but it’s always a joy seeing Cowards work brought to life with such a spark. Beautifully staged with an exquisite set, A Song At Twilight is equal parts witty, sharp and ultimately haunting, making for a enjoyable night out.

 

A Song At Twilight is currently performing at The Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne from Monday 01 April to Saturday 06 April 2019

 

Tickets Available HERE

 


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Cinderella – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Cinderella – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

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Cinderella is my third annual pantomime in the Eastbourne Devonshire Park and probably one of the funniest I’ve seen yet.

The stand out moment is the glittering carriage being pulled by a magnificent flying horse but as usual with Eastbourne the rest of the staging is top notch. Writer and director Chris Jordan strikes a masterful balance between the child friendly jokes and the knowingly adult winks and at times sales about as close as you can get. And yup predictably you get numbers from both The Greatest Showman and that Baby Shark song.

Regulars include comedian Tucker stars as Buttons with his usual foil, pantomime dame Martyn Knight, as one of the Ugly Sisters.  Joining them is Scott St.Martyn as the second Ugly Sister, Hilary O’Neil as Fairy Godmother, Graham James as Baron Hardup, Katherine Glover as Prince Charming and Laura Baldwin as Cinderella.  But never doubt that those in the know are hear only (well mostly) to see Tucker and Knight who once again steal the show.

In short this is yet another must see – full of jokes, humour and heart. 

Cinderella is currently performing at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne from the 7th December 2018 to the 13th January 2019

 

Tickets Available HERE

 


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